The Minister of Woman Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen on, Thursday called on Nigerians not to take advantage of Persons With Disabilities (PWD) in terms of Gender-based violence (GBV) to avoid God’s wrath.
Tallen made the call at the Investiture of Award of Excellence on 66 Young Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria organized by the Inclusive Friends Association(IFA) in Abuja.
She stated that GBV is one of the worst crimes against humanity and it is even worse if committed with PWDs.
In her words: “I want to exclude all the bad people from the society and rapists or anybody that inflicts any form of gender-based violence on any woman worst of all those with disabilities will not leave well.
“Don’t take advantage of these people because if you take advantage of them, you are inviting the anger of God on you, I warn you and I appeal to those fond of that evil to desist from it.
“These are people that need our love, they need our support, they need our understanding they need to live to live happy in the society, “she said.
Also, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons(NAPTIP), Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said gender issues surrounding womanhood are further deepened when they are faced with the challenges of disability, which inform they are being marginalized.
Represented by Head Reforms, NAPTIP, Dr Ebele Ulasi said that NAPTIP saddled with the responsibility of nipping the menace of human trafficking in the bud and the protection of the vulnerable came up with some measures to enhance the rights and access to justices for PWDs.
Also, the Executive Director IFA, Grace Jerry, said that IFA with support from Ford Foundation began The Amplifying Voices Project in February 2021 with the objective of training young persons with disabilities from selected states as Fellows to combat GBV perpetrated against PWDs .
Jerry said that this was because, from previous engagements with PWDs it was realized that discrimination, stigma and stereotypes played significant roles in building the silent culture among survivors of various forms of violence.
She, therefore, recommended that more PWDs, their family members and caregivers should be enlightened on what Disability Based Violence is and education should be made free for PWDs of school age.
She called on the government to strengthen social protection systems and mainstream such programs to cater to the needs of persons with disabilities and implement the five percent employment quota for PWDs to tackle poverty.